Distance(s) #21, or: really existing capitalism

You and Me - Fritz Lang, 1938, 35mm


Zorns Lemma - Hollis Frampton, 1970, 16mm

1 comment:

Matthew Flanagan said...

'Really Existing Capitalism is marked by the same division which characterised Really Existing Socialism, between, on the one hand, an official culture in which capitalist enterprises are presented as socially responsible and caring, and, on the other, a widespread awareness that companies are actually corrupt, ruthless, etc. In other words, capitalist postmodernity is not quite as incredulous as it would appear to be, as the jeweller Gerald Ratner famously found to his cost.

Ratner precisely tried to circumvent the Symbolic and 'tell it how it is', describing the inexpensive jewellery his shops sold as 'crap' in an after-dinner speech. But the consequence of Ratner making this judgement official were immediate, and serious - £500m was wiped off the value of the company and he lost his job. Customers might previously have known that the jewellery Ratners sold was poor quality, but the big Other didn't know; as soon as it did, Ratners collapsed.'

--Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism, 2009, p.46-47.